Fruitful Search 2

"I need it, who can travel the fastest?" Ana asked

"Give me five minutes," said Cassius, and he was gone. Just as he said, five minutes later, he had a small pouch full of the herb. "Is this enough? I suggest gloves. Thick ones. The leaves are sharp."

She looked at it at the bag, her finger nails turned to sharp claws and she slowly went to stick her hand in the bag

"What are you going to do?" asked Cassius as Antony fidgeted nervously.

"something not pleasant but necessary" She said reaching in "a dangerous trick that should only be done in dire situations, that's what she use to tell me when teaching me things about herbs" She said pulling a petal and leaf from the bag using the tips of her claws "Its the same concept like a adrenaline shot to the chest, if done right lycans can use this plant for a last effort " she said

"No!" said Antony. "You are not putting yourself in danger! I forbid it!" she glared at him "first of all i thought we spoke about you forbidding me from doing anything and second we are so close and he doesnt have much time" she said gesturing to ambrose "I know what im doing" She said in a confident tone "you forced me into this role now let me do it "

"You asked to help!" Antony said. "I said I wanted you to stay in our cave!"

"Just stop," said Cassius. "She's a warrior. Let her fight with the tools she has at her disposal. You wouldn't stop me or Ambrose. And you never tried to stop Anya."

"This is different!" Antony said, shaking "The role I was referring to was your mate Anthony, that makes them my pack and right now they are suffering and need help. help I can provide. She said I need you to inject this into my blood stream as a warm liquid cassius, i can do this, it will look bad but I've done this before, no more then twenty milligrams or it will kill me

Cassius went to her and grabbed her wrist. Antony growled as Cassius took a syringe from Anastasia. He moved her sleeve and noticed what appeared to be freckles along the main vein in her wrist.

"You risk too much," he said. "But a warrior doesn't back down. You are suited for our indecisive prince. Don't put yourself in too much danger, or our hunters will step in to protect you." He looked her in the eye. "Like the pack for the luna."

She nodded "Don't appear in front of me, mask your smells and touch, i want to be able to focus only on her scent and that of the vampires, also do approach me, I'm not able to control myself and I will attack you"

"So long as you understand," Cassius said, turning her away from him towards Emily's scent and injecting the solution into Anastasia. "Doing this too often would be like living with the after-effects of Death by Silver. Know when you must pass this weapon on to the next warrior."

It took another hunter to get Anthony to turn to mist with the rest of them. Ana started to sweat and she dropped to her knees. She hunched over and her clothes ripped to shreds as she started to shift. She snarled and growled in pain as the plant started to course threw her body. Setting her on fire, burning her from the inside out. She felt her mind grow numb with the pain. her body went into a survival response. something was hurting her she needed to stop it and there was only one smell around. She took off with such force she left holes in the ground where she took off from. Her wold moved with such power trees bent and broke in her path

They followed her as best as they could, but they all knew she was a guardian and it was going to be difficult. Fighting Antony, Ambrose, and now a crazed guardian. Perhaps we should talk salaries after this, Draiden suggested. This is turning into more of a race than a hunt.

No one told us she was a guardian, that should have been information we all knew ambrose said in a aggravated tone

Her scent was obvious, said Cassius. We've known Nicanu for some time, so we know the scent better than most Carpathians. But your mind is on more important things. Let's just keep her in our sights so we have a better chance at finding your woman.

A growl was his response but he kept going with the group. Ana suddenly made a sharp left turn that lead to a steep Clif that lead up a mountain. Without hesitation she dug her claws in the mountain side and started to climb up

About halfway up, she began to dig into the rock, murderous growls echoing through the air. Anastasia, Antony said. We have to get her to stop. The sun is rising... her hands are bleeding... we have to stop her...

Jumping in now is more dangerous, said Cassius. She must burn off the adrenaline coursing through her. Once she breaks through, she should be done. She is already slowing. Catch her when this is over and take her back to your cave, Antony. Bath her in some healing water before taking her to ground. We will need her when we go to rescue Emily.

It's pure rock, Casius! Antony responded, only for Casius to say, Showing her strength and the power of the adrenaline in her veins. You must let dissipate naturally.

The moment they heard the rock give way and break through to the other side, they heard the sound of Ana hitting the rock. By the time they got there she was naked on her side. She was pale with dark veins, her eyes still gold. Blood sweat covered her entire body

Anastasia, Antony said in her mind. God, cisitri. Let me get you out of here and heal you. Please, don't torture me like this. she groaned I can.....still keep going i just need to catch my breath

You are bleeding, Antony said, and every vein is showing. Please. It hurts seeing you like this. You opened the door. We can get Ambrose's woman tomorrow. The others... they are in my mind, keeping me as mist and away, but I'm on the edge. I'm ready to take you far from here, take you some place away from any danger. Come back with us. Let me take care of you. he felt her give into his needs. Slowly she started to sit up, Cassius put a hand on his shoulder to keep him from going to her give her a moment to be on the safe side he said to anthony

Let go, Cassius, said Antony with a growl. I have to get her out of here. Ambrose, if you were to see your lifemate in pain, would you let them hold you back? a growl echoed all their heads why would you ask him that?!" One hunter growled Because we don't know what we will be facing! Because my woman is suffering for his! Because I am being told to watch her struggle to get to me and no one is letting me get my woman to our resting place to heal her! Now, let me get to her! Cassius let him go like his touch had hurt him

Antony was on her instantly, wrapping her in a blanket. He held her close and rocked her. He moved back from the entrance she had created before a cold draft exited. A faint scent of blood engulfed them. Antony said, Ambrose, get out of here. We do not have the time to get her this day, but we will rise before sundown to begin navigating his lair. He will have the upper hand in there. Rest, regain your strength. The end is in sight. She is alive. There is no doubt about that. Keep that in mind. My woman's scent has marked this place. After we get Emily out, we destroy all evidence Anastasia was here. The vampire has gone to ground, but not all of us are at full strength. We need everyone at full strength.

I can lead a hunting party west were we can sleep for the night Cassius said

Do it, said Antony. I'll take Anastasia back to our cave. Tie your minds to Ambrose's. Nicanu's woman can only handle so much. Cassius, see if Aunt Yaya is done healing. We will need her when we get out. If not for the battle, for her aid in healing. They all nodded and left. Hunters stayed near the prince until he was safe in his home with Ana. Once alone as he started to carry her down stairs she woke up where are we?

"My house," he said. "This is the safest place the hunters feel we should be. I would have preferred our cave, but I was too worried about you to direct them to it. But here, we can heal and be ready to get Ambrose's woman tomorrow. You led us to her. But you risked your health and possibly made yourself a target and..." she placed her cold hand over his mouth to keep him from talking can we argue tomorrow, I'm so tired I just want to sleep so the pain stops

"After a bath," he said, rubbing her arm. "It will warm you up and help with the pain. It will relax your body and help you with your sleep. I already have the bath ready." She didn't argue with him, he wasn't use to her being so obedient

He got her in the water and began washing her. He cleaned and rinsed her hair for her. He was gentle, wanting only her comfort.

"You scared me tonight," Antony admitted. "I said... things to Ambrose that I shouldn't have." She didn't move but in a low soft tone said "everyone was upset, things are tense, you all care for each other and they know that. You still listened to Cassius, that showed trust and they showed loyalty to you"
Nicanu sat near Megan's head, allowing her to see and focus on him. If she moved, he put his hands to on her to calm her, but soon, he was holding her down. Erik became healing light and went in to her body The children are stressed but fine, i think her pain is from hunger, feed her and if it doesn't stop i will look further

Nicanu pulled her into his lap and put her face to his throat, saying, "Take what I offer freely." SHe was not aware of his presence anymore. Her eyes were squeezed shut as her face twisted in pain. He cut his neck so she would smell him, saying, "Open your eyes, Megan. See me. I'm right here." She didnt open her eyes but she leaned up and her mouth instinctively went over the bleeding skin

"That's it bebelus," he said, stroking her hair. "Feed from me. You need to feed well. Take what you need." Her feeding was soft and slow. like she was on autopilot its helping but its a temporary fix, we stil do not know how the children survived the conversation, i dont want to risk anymore

I don't know what else to do other than let Ambrose fall and kill him before he has a chance to harm anyone, Nicanu said. Erik, tell them to get a lead now, or I will step in to ensure my mate's wellbeing. He felt Erik's mental nod I told cassius, ill let you know if he responds, his channel is the only one open

They have until dawn tomorrow, Nicanu growled. If they haven't found Emily by then, it will be too late. As it is, Megan may not be able to last that long.

Erik returned to his body. he looked pale but he showed no signs of being tired or weak " we will do what we can, try to occupy yourself now would be the time to learn things about your lifemate '

"She can barely acknowledge that I'm here," he said. "Her mind is too fogged for me to comprehend much."

"as a healer I can tell you , you can learn a lot about someone from their body alone" Erik said

"I can only do so much," said Nicanu. "I want her back with me. I feel her mind, but she isn't there half the time. I'm losing her and I can't stop it, Erik." He looked at him, warrior to warrior. "I have no enemy to fight here. I'm helpless to aid her in carrying this burden, to protect her from it. She wanted to help the hunters find Emily. But..."

"i can not give you any advice on this, i am new to being a lifemate to and it has already not been easy, but i have seen lifemates through different eyes for many years, some how they always find a way to balance each other, you will find your place in this situation as i hope t find mine in my lifemates life"

"I'm bouncing between being her lifemate and her alpha," said Nicanu. "There doesn't appear to be a balance."

"She is new to this world , let her find her place in it and then you should know yours" he said and sighed "I'm going to go take my own advice" he said standing up

"You and me," said Nicanu. "We tried to hide things and it pushed our mates away. This is where it led me, Erik. That's why she runs, your woman. That's the argument we interrupted, right? Just tell her. Trust her enough with everything and she'll stay. Trust her to be that strong."

"Focus on your ..Megan" he said "the odds of us finding mates with the same name..."

"And both hide things from them," Nicanu gave a small smile. "Yeah, the odds are very slim, but never zero."

"I've been a live a long time I don't remember two lifemates with the same name.... Let's hope they are not the same problems too" he said and left the room. Megan groaned in his arms

Nicanu put his hand between her mouth and his skin. He closed the wound and ran his hands over her.

"Look at me, Megan," he ordered. "Know I am here." Her eyes slowly wandered to his, she looked so lost and in so much pain "I'm tired .....I'm so tired"

"I know," he said. "It will be over soon. I promise. You are so strong, Megan. Stronger than even I knew. Stronger than anyone I know. How do I even compare to you, fighting so hard for your friend?"

He saw by her eyes his voice didn't reach her "please....I'm so tired I just want nic... Nicanu"

"I'm here," he said. "Look at me. Know me. See me." Her eyes focused on him "your not don't feel real" she said in a sad tone

"I am very real, Megan," he said, continuing to move his hands over her. "I have not left. You are not alone. Soon, you won't have to fight. It will end." She moaned at his touch but it was brief, a quick reconnect letting him know her body recognized him. Her eyes closed tightly and her breathing quickened as Ambrose void grew

"Reach past Ambrose's pain," he said. "You can do this. I would never leave you. I would always fight to have you beside me." She felt as he was being swallowed by the void and he felt the separation start to kick in for him

"Megan, don't!" he said, grasping her. "Focus! You can do it! I'm reaching, just reach for me!" He said in a demanding tone, like he was not giving her a choice Ambrose is going down for the night, your lifemates can rest now Cassius said in his head just as Megan cried out and he felt her very being slam into him as her arms wrapped around his neck tightly and she crushed herself to him crying.

"No more," he growled. "Not again. You are not going through it again. I don't care that they found the cave. You are not hurting like that again. We aren't." She was crying loudly into his neck, her whole body was shaking in his arms. Her desperation, fear and relief was all he felt from her, all that consumed her mind right now was him. His smell, his voice, his touch, everything was him.

"Look at me, Megan," he said. "I'm real. I'm here. But you will not help tomorrow. Not again. I almost..." He shook his head. "No more. They will not take anymore from you." She didn't look at him or let him go, her arms tightened when he tried to get her to look at him. Fear of losing him again pounded at her. In this moment she would do anything it took to keep him with her. He felt a deep change set in. A primal instinct he recognized. Territorial. She was now the most dangerous thing in the area and he knew it.

Erik walked to the library. As usual, his Meghan was there. He slowly approached her "how is she?" She asked without looking up

"Fighting a battle no man wants to see his woman endure," he said. "She is fading hour by hour and I don't have the ability to stop it. If my uncle can't find his wife soon, we may lose six lives." He stood right behind her. "Meghan, I..."

"Maybe I can help" she said cutting him off, still not looking at him " maybe I can ease the stress on the babies at least"

He wrapped his arms around her. "This is her battle. Help with the children would be appreciated, but you have so much to learn before you can." He took a breath. "And it won't all be nice."

She tensed at his touch "I still want to help" she said in a low tone

"I know," he said. "But what if... you run? What if it's too much?" She went still for a moment but didn't relax "you never gave me the chance to see if I would run....and if I did you never gave us the chance to work it out"

"Would you risk your world if you knew you could keep them safe?" he buried his face in her neck. "Would watch them crumble not knowing if you could put them back together again? I don't know if I can save two unborn children. I do not want to risk you too" she moved away from him just as she was starting to lean into him. She put the room between them "between the lack of information and you taking my choices away from me I feel no better then a prisoner Erik.....I feel trapped and scared, you made me doubt you, I don't know if anything you have said has been true anymore, I had a nightmare that you were just like that vampire and all this has been some twisted and sick game to you and any day your going to tear me apart and ..."

"I couldn't do that, even if I was a vampire!" he said. "You can't harm your lifemate, even when soulless! You've read all the books in my library! How can you doubt anything?! I wanted to keep you safe when the demons in my world tried to destroy you! They killed your friend in an attempt to get you!" He clenched his fists. "I may not have told you things to protect you, but never once have I lied."

"How do I know that?! All I've read is just more evidence against you! Once you plant the seed of mistrust Erik it grows fast and deep" she said crossing her arms "how do I even know the lifemates thing is real...mind control, supernatural powers, shape shifting...magic it wouldn't take much for you to make me believe anything you wanted me too or do anything you wanted with me"

"Nothing can mimic a lifemate bond," he said. "It can come close, but never reach the same level. It's all-encompassing. The moment you see them, that one woman becomes everything. Life, hope, beauty, the world. There is no air without her, no reason, nothing. It makes the time before her a vacation as darkness takes over if she dies. The thought of a paper cut scares us. Her leaving... no man once he claims her could live through it. And neither can she. Do you want to know what can happen if a man loses his woman? The woman in the other room is taking on the separation for my uncle, and she acts as if there is nothing in her, nothing worth living. For women, they can live, but it is a half life. For a man, it's either death or vampire."

"I can feel what's going on Erik......" She said looking away and down at her folded arms "your words mean nothing because I'm from a world were lifemates don't exist, but you don't think about that, you just get made when I don't believe you but what your telling me to believe in is foreign to me and you have made things harder on me and left me alone to deal with the mess you have made my world and when I ask for help it's just more lies or vague answers" she said

"I can only explain to you in the same words given to me," he said. "I cannot explain it any better than I have, because there are no other words. I tried, but I could not get any clearer. I heard humans say they found their soulmate. A lifemate is that but deeper. That's the best answer I can give. I mean, how can one explain love?"

"Love has nothing to do with this....." She said in a frustrated tone "why do you not understand?! I'm a empath Erik, I feel what you are, I feel everything around me and I recognize nothing! " She said running her hand through her hair "I'm scared ..I'm so scared, I don't recognize this world anymore, I don't know who to trust or what to believe and for the first time I'm questioning my powers" she said in a sadder tone "I've always felt alone ... different, isolated but this, this is hell"

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